Thursday, April 3, 2014

No Friend, No Bike, No Tree

Aloha friends and family,

Our friend Morgan spent her last night in town hanging out with the 4 webbs.  She's heading out West to see what San Jose has to offer along with her parents.  Saying good-bye is not my strong suit.  The better friends I am with someone, the harder it is to express what I'm thinking.  For an acquaintance I can come up with a speech and send-off worthy of a Hollywood script, but when a friend as close as Morgan leaves there are almost no words to express.

The only saving grace is that we see her in Sacramento over the summer when she comes to visit Ouma and Oupa's house.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.  So long, Morgan...  See you in the not-too-distant future. and on instagram if I ever get that working again on my phone.

Kendra and I wrapped up our commitment for church that consumed our entire Sunday for the past 8 weeks.  This Sunday will be odd because after church we get to choose what to do with our time from then until 8:00 PM.  Aren't there some good TV shows on?  We wouldn't know since we've been out of the loop so long.  It's a much needed break from facilitating the class all by ourselves.  I don't regret a single minute spent on helping people.  The goal is to have tons of help next time around in August.  Between now and then there is lots of planning and training to do, but at least we can do it on our own pace.

Layla is shining like a star in her first all-girl's team soccer season.  Last year playing with the boys really set her up to be aggressive and hustle.  Her official pics are in already, but not scanned.  here's the ones i took off to the side as the photographer was doing his thing.

And these are her teammates and coach.  She's the smallest, but also the quickest and toughest.  I think she's the only one who hasn't cried on the field or walked off in the middle of a match.  I consider that to be one of the measures of success at this age of sports.

Layla has good skills to make a bee-line for the goal when there is no one between her and the goal.  This is one of those break-aways.  The rest of her team and the opposing team were chasing her like a pack of dogs on a track chasing after the rabbit.  They never caught her...

Easton and Layla have only known one church their whole six-year-old lives.  One of the many reasons we go here is because our church does more than just babysit the twins while Kendra and I get our church on.  They pour into their lives with teaching and caring in an environment of kindness like they would never experience in public school.  Not that every child is a model of Godliness, but the atmosphere and people are encouraging and building as well as fun.  Last Sunday the kids joined us for the singing.  The twins stood next to us as we all sang together.  Then all the kids came down front and the children's leader led us in prayer for the students.  Easton and Layla are somewhere in that mass of kids in front of the stage.  

Last year I pledged an amount to give over the course of two years towards the new family life center at church.  That is the new structure where the twins will have classrooms, Kendra and I will have enough space to facilitate our ministry and the whole church will be able to gather for Sunday pot-luck lunches.  Some of my favorite memories of church are running around with friends while the adults talked and ate together.  We don't have space for that right now, but within the next year we will have!

When I pledged the amount we would give I sold my mountain bike as a way to sacrifice to give a big chunk up-front.  I decided I wouldn't get another bike until our church had pledged enough to build the building.  When that happened I went and bought a good used bike to be my new ride on the mountains.  

Pastor made a request for us as a church to fulfill our pledge within the next 90 days, if possible.  We are at a road-block for the building until we can come up with enough cash to purchase and erect the steel frame.  So yesterday I sold my bike.  I was able to fulfill my total pledge amount with a single check.  We are completely out of debt, have an emergency fund, and saved enough to cover most of our summer vacation, but I didn't want to jeopardize our savings and safety.  I was sad to see my bike go, but I'll get another bike when the time is right.  It's a small sacrifice considering the long-term goal of reaching people and having sufficient space to do what Kendra and I are called to do.  

And in the mean time, whatever extra money we have is going to fix house problems like this one.

The unplanned palm tree is up against the foundation of our house and breaking the pipes for the pool.  We paid those two guys $500 to cut the tree down so we can begin the pool repair and sprinkler system replacement.  Our summer travel plans would be stressful if we left town with the possibility of this monster breaking our foundation or swamping our yard from broken pool pipes.  So, it's gone!  No more worries.  Now we get to replace the sprinkler system with new pipes. When we return home after summer we will plant a garden and possibly get 5 hens to lay fresh eggs for us.  We're just in the possibility thinking phase right now.  

Kendra and I went to lunch the other day for a day date.  We took advantage of the free childcare while Easton and Layla were in school.  It's almost like the two of us are getting reacquainted with each other on a friendship level.  I compare it with two soldiers fighting a battle in a foxhole, then going home and hanging out together as friends.  It's a whole new relationship where even though it is awesome, still takes some adjustment.

I even had time to take Easton and Layla to school one morning.  We went to breakfast together.  Then I walked them up to the gate.  They gave each gave me a big hug and a kiss, then bolted towards their friends and never looked back.  This was the first time they left me high and dry.  I stood at the fence waiting for them to turn around and wave, but their minds were way past my presence.  

I'm happy they are so friendly and comfortable in their school, but a part of me was very sad.  It was an awkward moment where Easton and Layla were clearly more independent than I was.  There will always be more moments like this where I will need to let go a little more each time, but there is only one "first" and that was it.

Layla still gives me the only thing a six-year-old can give her father:  her creativity.  She made this robot thing out of pipe cleaners and dixie cups.  She was excited to give it to me and said, "you can take this to work and keep it on your shelf."  I agreed and then took that picture so I can show her I am a man of my word.  These are the little things to me, but the big things to her.  I learned several years ago that when a kid offers you something, take it!  I'm happy to be building a culture of giving.  Easton and Layla will have much more resources flow through their hands over a lifetime if their hands are open.

See you soon!

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